DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2011. 19(5):332-7.

The presence of amorpha-4, 11-diene synthase, a key enzyme in artemisinin production in ten Artemisia species.
R Hosseini, N Yazdani, Ga Garoosi


Artemisinin is one of the most effective medicine against malaria, which is produced naturally by Artemisia annua in low yield. It is produced in a metabolic pathway, in which several genes and gene products are involved. One of the key genes in this pathway is am1, which encodes amorpha-4, 11-diene synthase (ADS), a key enzyme in artemisinin biosynthesis pathway. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of this gene in ten Artemisia species in order to increase the yield of production of Artemisinin.The experiments were carried out using PCR. Specific primers were designed based on the published am1 gene sequence obtained from A. annua (NCBI, accession number AF327527).The amplification of this gene by the specific primers was considered as a positive sign for the potentiality of artemisinin production. Since the entire am1 gene was not amplified in any of the 10 species used, four parts of the gene, essential in ADS enzyme function, corresponding to a) pair site of Arg10-Pro12 in the first 100 amino acids, b) aspartate rich motif (DDXXD), c) active site final lid and d) active site including farnesyl diphosphate (FDP) ionization sites and catalytic site in the ADS enzyme, were investigated.The sequence corresponding to ADS active site was amplified only in A. annua, A. aucheri and A. chamaemelifolia. The negative results obtained with other species could be due to some sequence alteration, such as point mutations or INDELs. We propose A. aucheri and A. chamaemelifolia as two potential candidate species for further characterization, breeding and transferring am1 gene for artemisinin overproduction.


Artemisia (sweet wormwood);Asteraceae;PCR;amorpha-4,11-diene synthase;artemisinin


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